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Offering choice is key to customer service modernisation

Konstantin Selgitski argues why you shouldn’t hang up the phone on traditional forms of contact

Person dialling an office telephone

Some of the most well-known companies in the world can attribute their success to great customer experience. According to the Institute of Customer Service, the best companies in this space include Amazon, Waitrose, John Lewis, and M&S Food. Other popular brand names with a reputation for great customer experience include Netflix and Disney.

With digitisation playing an increasingly key role in business strategy, more and more companies are turning to data to give them insights into customer experience. Looking into when - and how - consumers typically engage with a brand can help any firm build a successful and lasting customer experience strategy.

Keep your options open

Understanding your customers’ preferred method of communication is crucial to this. As well as using the telephone, people are increasingly choosing to engage with companies using live chat services, including chat bots, social media platforms, email and SMS.

Choosing to engage on a live chat service, as opposed to phoning a customer service representative, has the benefit of flexibility. You’re able to step away from your laptop and come back to the conversation as and when you please. It also means the representative is able to manage multiple conversations at the same time.

But not all customers would naturally choose to go online. While some forms of communication are more popular than others, it is important to offer your customers a variety of methods to get in touch - especially when you’re selling through the channel. The challenge is to provide a consistent experience across all channels, and keep a broad range of options open.

Understand your customer base

When providing a consistent customer experience it’s also important to bear diversity in mind. While your target customers across different regions may share many of the same interests it’s likely they will have varying contact preferences. Some may prefer speaking over the telephone to using a chatbot, for example. Catering to all needs is key.

Therefore, make sure you’ve researched the most popular methods of communication across different areas, and that you’re offering your customers exactly what they want. Closing off a channel that may not seem popular on a surface level could risk alienating certain sections of your customer base. Ultimately, your strategy should be built on firm data, and be aligned across multiple platforms.

Many would argue that customer experience is just as important as the product or service any company is selling. So whether you’re a small local start-up, or a well-established multinational, it’s important to develop your own unique omni-channel customer experience infrastructure, and to work closely with your channel partners to implement a successful strategy.

Konstantin Selgitski is chief marketing officer at Dzinga

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